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Messages - farrago

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Back Matters Revisited
« on: October 13, 2017, 12:14:57 am »
Not sure I can offer much, but I do know this from a techie. The instant a reader reaches The End [page], amazon bots grab readers and sends them on to sponsored ads or other books. The gentle review plea must come immediately after The END on the same page... Following that I start a Note From the Author, sort of a bio...and I know it gets read because readers mention it in reviews. At the end of the bio, I write turn the page for more...where I list a few edited reviews for two or three books.  I close with: That's it. I'm done or some sort of close. If more back matter, say to reference some curiosity in the book, I write, turn the page for more.  Any links I want to share, I put in my Amazon bio.  At the moment I list my webpage and newsletter sign up. I prefer a clean crisp front matter that gets the reader into the story.  I keep back matter to a minimum in hopes the reader will chose another of my books. Whether it is wisdom or not, I never add excerpts for first chapters of other books in back matter.

I know the big print publisher add those 'coming book' chapters to hook the reader, but what happens to me is I read those...then when the book comes out months later, I pull it off the shelf, open it and think, "Oh, I've already read this." And move on. Anyway, the whole book is already in my list, so if the the story resonated with the reader, the few edited review quotes work for other books.

I don't ask anything of the reader in front matter. IMO That's like a waiter asking for a tip before he's served the food. Anyway, hope you sort it out.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Back matter promoting book two
« on: August 09, 2017, 12:07:06 pm »
I was wondering if I could see some examples of simple back matter people use to promote book two. A single page with a link is what I'm most interested. Short and sweet! Who has a good one for me to check out?  ;D
Short and sweet is smart because amazon is looking at back of book matter...some authors are stuffing BoB for KENP. Amazon bots are cutting those off and grabbing the reader to move onto other books. That said: Right after THE END in your book, you might put: Turn the page for more...My back matter has one page with "what readers are saying about [author's] books." It includes one or two review quotes on two or more books. And a short note to the reader ( a reader centric bio not found elsewhere).  I get it we are often advised to put live links. I don't. Author Choice.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone ever promoted with BookHub?
« on: August 09, 2017, 11:48:52 am »
Has anyone ever promoted their book with Paula Wynne's BookHub? Do you recommend it? What was your experience? Effective/not effective?
Yes, and thus far, it's a dud. I don't pay to subscribe to sites.  Agree the site is a nightmare to negotiate.  You pay your $$$ and it disappears into a the great maw. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Best sites to promote wide
« on: August 09, 2017, 11:35:15 am »
I'm browsing through the old standbys on my list, FKBT, KND, Freebooksy, and I notice that they don't have requests for links other than the link to where the book is published on Amazon. In my case, that means no Kobo, Apple, BN ad options are available on these particular sites. I'm looking to promote a fantasy middle grade series that's wide (and it's newly wide, which is why I don't have a lot of experience here...). Anyone have recommendations for sites (other than Bookbub) that promote books that will include those links (Kobo, Apple, BN) in the ad?

Don't pass up All low cost. All produce results.

Writers' Cafe / Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« on: April 19, 2017, 10:12:51 pm »
Alright, I've found my caps lock button and turned it off. (for now)

Now that I just booked my first bookbub, I'm trying to decide if I should try to hit a bestseller list for USA today or NY Times.

So, for those of you who have done it, or tried it, is it worth the investment? I know this may be hard to quantify, but was it worth the extra expenditures in promos just to get that stamp of approval?

I suppose its a pretty great blurb headliner for your book.

So again I turn to you, my comrades, for advice and opinion. This is my first Boobkbub deal. Do I go for a list or just see what I can do with the featured deal by itself?

FYI: To make USA Today list you need to sell not less than 20K priced units within 5 days. And then your unit may be at the bottom of the list. That's all I know from experience.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Newsletters- tell me about yours!
« on: April 19, 2017, 09:56:19 pm »
I'm a complete slacker when it comes to newsletters even though I know they are the 2nd best thing to reader engagement. The 1st being new releases. I'd love to know people's approach to their newsletters. How often do you send yours? What do you talk about? How long? All the stuff! Tell me all the stuff!

I have two newsletters, a Mad Mimi and Mail Poet--both are reader-centric. I distribute once a month. I offer one of my units FREE or 99c. I promote colleagues books on free or discounted, their new releases. If I have a multi-author Rafflecopter, I plug it.  I sometimes co-promote with like minded authors with a well-designed newsletter. I don't do chit chat or offer excerpts. I'm probably missing the boat on some things, topics. Thus far, my newsletters move not less than 1K books per mail out. I also Tweet and share the link so non-subscribers can take advantage of the offerings. I track all of the books in each newsletter in a Book tracker. One of my colleague's books had a best seller rank of  2,671,705 at 10:30 a.m. Right this minute 11:30 p.m. It has a rank of: 112 on FREE.  No other promos. I also see above 2K of my own unit downloaded. So. I encourage indies to build subscriber lists. There is a side benefit. One can evaluate commercial promoters. If I pay a promoter 85$ and it only moves 71 units and my newsletter moves 1044...I'm at the least going to reevaluate or drop that promoter. I stagger my newsletter to audiences over a two or three day period. Adding this: A newsletter is work. Takes me 8 solid hours to compose the things. And--three and a half years to build a decent organic subscriber list. My past experience with paid subscriber list builders is that at least half will unsubscribe. This is prolly more than you wanted to know. P.S. I do not ask subscribers to review my or any other books I offer.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Per Click Pricing???
« on: November 30, 2016, 08:21:43 pm »
Okay, I'm gonna admit something here that I'm kinda ashamed to admit.  I've never utilized the marketing option of Facebook ads and such, and it's mainly because my little technologically-challenged brain cannot comprehend this whole "name your price" aspect where you decide how much you're "willing" to pay per click.  Where do you even start?  One penny?  Five cents?  Ten cents?  A dollar?

I'm prolly the outlier here, but I have four ads running open-ended. $2 to $3 a day per ad. I don't bid on key words. I let Amazon do its thing. All of my ads are in the $$$. Some a few dollars, a couple upwards of $200 and one above of a $500 ROI. Patience counts. It takes a while for impressions to start rolling in and click throughs. My units are in Select--so the books get borrows/KENP, which keeps ranking up a bit. Amazon is where book buyers live, so I consider impressions as exposure on Kindles. Recently sponsored ads also show up in a line beneath also boughts, so the slug [ad text] is super important. That's all I can offer.


Writers' Cafe / Re: Is Pricing Your Fiction Book at 99� Really Worth It?
« on: November 21, 2016, 11:49:31 pm »
There are plenty of success stories around using permafree and 99 cent first in series as loss leaders to get readers into a series. 99 cents on a standalone book might not be worthwhile, but there's plenty of evidence to suggest that series with a free or low-priced entry, can make money offsetting the lower royalty at 99 cents.

I can share that a 99c price on a stand alone is worthwhile. Especially during the first month of publication. If in Select, many subscribers will borrow a 99c page reads  tote up to not less than $1.28. This happened on my last release priced at 99c. Amazon sent a notice to my followers and I promoted it my newsletter...the unit snagged the #1 slot in Hot New Releases for five days. I priced it at 2.99 after 30 days, and the book has been earning its way since. Savvy indie authors use the tools available to get our books visible. So, when we can, we promote a unit free or 99c. No apologies.

I can't speak for anyone else, but it's still working for me (no Bookbub, just FreeBooksy). Here's my last 2 free promos (rankings are best-of-day taken from Author Central): Nov 16: 4K downloads; pre-free ranking 32 K; post-free ranking 5K
Oct 25: 3K downloads; pre-free ranking 32K; post-free ranking 22K

IMO, there is a bit of supposition in this thread. My experience ranks with Pauline's. Since Bookbub slots are seeming a bit more difficult to snag, I designed and beta tested a free promo to see where the book would land once returned to paid and what kind of tail it might have.  I stacked promo on 12 smaller sites and six free plus my newsletter. I stacked my newsletter, too, to five audiences over a five day period to take advantage of amazon algorithms so all of the downloads would not pop on a single day. The unit snagged 15,613 downloads. Starting rank: Lowest: 231,586.  Ending Rank on top 100 FREE: Highest: 23. Returned to priced at: 39 Paid for a nanosecond, then slipped to Highest: 1,894 Paid. Eleven days on it ranks: Highest: 2,924.    Hard sales 479. KENP at: 316,082. Cost of promo $164.

I can't say how the above would fit with other opinions or ideas. I'm happy with the results. Next year I'll try to duplicate it.

About the comment that more permafree are rising on Top 100 Free. During the past 10 months more than a dozen of my close colleagues have put a unit permafree and promote it often to get eyes on their lists. That generates sales and borrows. So they don't have to run free campaigns on priced books. I promoted one colleague's permafree in my newsletter: Start: Highest: 10,743. End five days later: Highest: 596. Eleven days on it ranks: Highest: 4,234.

In the same newsletter edition I promoted a colleague's 99c unit (not in Select): Starting Lowest: 120,127. End of 5 day newsletter mailout: Lowest: 978.    Eleven days on: Highest: 34,117. I don't have a clue how the unit moved on other sales venues. But I do know my newsletter was her only promo. (Strapped for cash).

I don't expect to change any opinions. But these are the facts as I have them from a booktracker and BookReport.    

Writers' Cafe / Re: Sweet/Clean Romance Authors
« on: November 14, 2016, 11:09:53 pm »
Oh, Glory! I appreciate this thread. I usually keep my mouth shut. So, it is nice to have a voice for a change. I write bedroom scenes but no body parts. I know my audience. We all know where the body parts go so I don't give them an anatomy lesson. If it helps, I'll share a few review comments on my books.

"This is a sweet, clean romance with a little angst thrown in, but nothing that turns the joy of turning pages off. Highly recommend!"
"Finally found a romance author who doesn't write 3-4 pages detailing the sex."
"It's one of the best romance novels I've read. So tastefully told. It goes to show you that there's no need to be so racy, or trashy, porn-like if you've a truly a good story to tell."
"I am also a fan of how [author] writes romance without all of the details that are unnecessary to understand the passion between two people."
"A perfect mix of tears and laughter, it is so much more than a romance. It is sensual without being too much sex."
"If you love your romance with a beautiful and well thought out story, characters older than teens/twenties, and sex to be sensual not crass..."

Well...that's enough of that. But it speaks to readers who will and do enjoy a good story sans ripe sex. I don't use vulgarities or the eff bomb. Not going there. I think I used sh*t once in stream of conscious. It fit, so I left it. I don't write religious overtones, but a character, especially with children will speak to going to church or going to heaven. My characters get intimate before marriage. As a rule I make a point of safe sex, using condoms. I write what the story calls for. I do have a pair of subcharacters of alternate life styles. I don't allow anyone~editor, proofreader or another author get in the way of that. Not. I put one book in Classic category. Other times I just list them as contemporary or women's fiction or general fiction, and only put romance in the key words. Another I put in humor. However for promo sites, I'm restricted pretty much to romance. Sometimes, women's fiction.

I can share this: There is an audience for well-written relationship/romance novels sans sex on every page. But I don't write to trends. I don't write series either. My forte is stand alone. Sometimes I go overboard on the pathos.

All of my units, the few I have published, are in Select. I don't trade reviews or critique. But I do promote and co promote romance along with other genres my colleagues write: sci-fi, cozies, mysteries, historicals. No erotica. I respect an author's choice of what to write, but our audiences are different. I don't trade reviews or buy reviews. I'll share this too. I don't associate with indie authors who skirt Amazon's rules because I am not going to jeopardize my books. I'm not a best selling author, don't pretend to be, but I usually have a book in the money most months. Depends upon my promotion schedule and what my ordinary life throws at me.

I love to co-promote and network because it works and sells books. We need one another because the market is in such flux. Would love to hear from romance authors who enjoy networking. Adding this: I'm not interested in 29 page 'books'. Impossible to sell. Or cliffhangers. Readers despise those. But! If you would like chat, email me at [email protected] Or you may visit I blog about indie authorship for the little guy, like me. 

If not, great good luck on your journey. This is an awesome industry. I love it. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Putting your book out for review .... eeek!
« on: November 12, 2016, 12:25:10 pm »
Go here for a list of above 300 active bloggers/reviewers:

for organic reviews add this gem to your book right after The End:

Thank you for taking the time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author's best friend and much appreciated. Thank you, again. [author name].

That gem works. Good luck.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Should I be disappointed? Small Promo Results
« on: August 05, 2016, 10:47:23 pm »
I'm glad I came across this post. I get it that more experienced authors will critique a book to perhaps figure out why it did not see downloads, but the fact is those sites that you submitted to tell us that they vet the one expects the book to be at least average for the title in its genre. I did a quick review of my promos with the sites you 2015, all did nicely for my books in KCD. In 2016, the sites are not producing the same results. They may for others...but not for me and several of my colleagues. All of the promoters are promoting more books per newsletter and truncating is hurting our sales/downloads. Especially with ENT. In May I ran a 99c sale on a new release and my own newsletter moved 1044 books. Believe me, when I say I cannot boast of a huge subscriber audience. Two of my fav promoters together did not move 150 units. We need reputable promoters, but I decided I'm not promoting with a site that moves less than my own newsletter.  In late July, I had a book in a free campaign. I used one only of the sites you mention for the $5 slot. I skipped the rest. I did use some smaller sites. Again, my newsletter moved above 1000 books.

We have different experiences with promoters. Some move romance, some move fantasy and paranormal. Promoters who used to move romance in the 1000s now don't, but do sell the heck out of thrillers and cozies. Audiences shift. Staying on top of that is hard. Anyway, Good luck with your countdown.                             

Writers' Cafe / Re: Finding Reviewers
« on: August 04, 2016, 09:02:54 pm »
Other than BookBub (which I think requires a min of 25 reviews) what other promo services are worth the money?
Bookbub does not have a minimum review to submit. Bookbub's criteria is a well-written edited book, great cover and reader appeal with a minimum page length. Here's an article by Bookbub Partners:

As for promoters, some are better for one genre than another. You have to do your homework. Go here to find a terrific up-to-date 2016 list of promo sites:

For some sage advice from a TOP 1000 Amazon Reviewer, read this:

Now is the time to educate yourself before your book is on the market. Your success will depend upon learning to sort fact from rumor.

Consider: 1) Publish. 2) Promote. 3) Patience. Number 2 leads to organic reviews by readers who enjoyed your book (or not). Good luck.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Birkenstock Quits Amazon
« on: July 21, 2016, 01:09:41 pm »
Thank you for that link. Books are not the only target for scammers and fakes.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bad experience with Book Gorilla?
« on: July 21, 2016, 01:01:16 pm »
Book gorilla and Kindle Nation Daily are owned by the same guy, Steve Windwalker. Even a costly feature ad did not move books for me. I, too have gone looking for my book promoted. Both must sell books for somebody...but not me or a dozen other indie authors with whom I network. Neither site has ever answered an email from me.  Author Choice to promote with the sites or not.

Indies Unlimited no longer accepts paid submissions. But when it did, it refused one of my units for a misplaced or misused Oxford comma...which was funny since the editor is one of IU's staffers and a Brit. A second complaint was the cover did not show well in thumbnail. Woot. Cover designed by an award winning and costly cover artist. Submitted to Bookbub instead. Accepted. The site used to have a raft of staffers who wrote some timely and useful blogs by indie authors for indie authors. So the comment that it is author centric is fact. Every Thursday one may post one's books. But I notice IU staffers hog the book list, putting in every title they've written. The site is rated tops for indie authors...but it is not cutting edge nor up to date on events in our indie industry. For instance, it recently blogged about KU scammers which had already been done in depth April 15th by David Gaughran~almost a four month lag. That is all I  know.

Writers' Cafe / Re: FREE Promotion for KU Authors with Permafrees.
« on: July 21, 2016, 12:19:01 am »
Ciarelli and  Schanker launched Bookbub in 2012. They spent a lot of money advertising for subscribers before it opened its doors. Within a year Bookbub had 2 million subscribers. Bookbub has never asked an author to send them a book file. Yes, we do type freely. This is an open forum. I haven't asked any question of you that I don't ask of any promoter. I know the names of the owner or the administrator of every single site I promote with. We don't know you. We don't know how much or how little credibility you may or may not have. You are a stranger on the Web asking for our book files + $10. Heck yes, we are gonna ask a few questions. And you did not answer a single reasonable question. The fact is you cannot guarantee the safety of our book files. We are not giving them to you. If that sounds less than gentle, it is at the very least, the truth. Adding this: You say you are a pair of successful authors. That tidbit adds a level of astonishment, because one would expect an author to understand another is not handing over a book file to be shared willy-nilly and pay for the privilege. Perhaps you have the skill and ehow to build a fabulous promo site. Timing is everything. And your idea is two years too late. Having a site that promoted KU titles exclusively in mid 2014 when KU launched would have been nice. But now, it is not a need. You also mention perma free. Those units are NOT KU. Instafreebie offers DRM protection. The author controls how many books may be given away and the reader must sign up for one's newsletter before claiming the book. However, many savvy authors don't use instafreebie either. Good luck.

Sponsored ads go for as little as $1 a day. It is true one might need to tweak an ad.  It's a learning curve.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to tell if you're on a Bestseller list?
« on: July 20, 2016, 11:00:33 pm »
If your book is an Amazon BestSeller, Amazon tags it as such. One's book may also be #1 in its genre. Many consider those best selling, too. You can get a handle on how the stats work by ticking on the list on the left hand side of your book page.

Me. I luv sponsored ads. They're cheap, pennies a day. I keep four or five running open ended. It takes a while for sales to show, but they do eventually. I often run two or more on the same title to learn which ad composed gets more impressions and more sales. Patience counts. Book exposure is on Kindles. If you are looking for instant sales, submit to Bookbub or ENT. Be sure to read amazon guidelines before composing your ad.

Writers' Cafe / Re: FREE Promotion for KU Authors with Permafrees.
« on: July 20, 2016, 10:31:51 pm »
You say: "And again, we want to give the readers the books rather than ask them to go to Amazon 8 times and download all. Pretty sure most wouldn't."

You don't have any data to back that up. Subscribers to my newsletter download 8 to 19 books [free & priced~KU or not] every month. I know because I track click throughs and those downloads by the hour in a book tracker.
Who is "we" ? What is your name? Where are you home based? What is your experience as a promoter?
Readers download 328,500+ romance novels every day from amazon.
You are not offering any value for $10 or even 0$. There is not a single benefit for the indie author to give you a book file.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the whole things sounds hinky.  Moreover, your logic is skewed. Then there is this: Amazon has already warned many of us to do due diligence
on any promoter who asks/hype/wants only KU unit submissions. Because clickbait/download farmers use KU books to hide nefarious activities.
Also, your are talking funny if you think you can challenge Bookbub or FreeBooksy. The first has above one million subscriber and Booksy has above 300,000. How many subscribers
does BookNabs have?

Just havin' my say...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is contacting Amazon reviewers a waste of time?
« on: July 13, 2016, 11:21:59 pm »
To:  jenn crowell: I'm not certain what you mean by a marketing strategy. Your book is legacy published by Simon Schuster. You have a raft of editorial reviews. One book release in over two and a half years...More reviews will not sell your book. You might consider asking your publisher for the opportunity to price pulse. Right now your unit is priced at $7.99. The only control you have is to do book signings to market the print edition. Perhaps other legacy published in the forum can make suggestions. The print edition is eligible for an amazon giveaway... you have a book published in 1997, but looks as if it is only in used book editions. Good luck.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Getting reviews by reviewing?
« on: July 03, 2016, 10:59:09 am »
Well, the man is talking at cross topics...bloggers/reviews/promotion. But of course the hot button word is reviews, so all jump on that.
In the scheme of things, I'm not a best selling author. Actually, I'm not so much as the squeak on a screened door, but my books have pulled above 2000 organic reviews...
I put together this blog which has links to a 2016 up-to-date list of promoters--many free for the flat wallet. As a courtesy, it also has links to an active list of 200 reviewers.
None to which I personally submit my books because I prefer organic reviews. How those are gathered is also mentioned. IMO how one gathers reviews is author choice.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Inquiring Mind...Where Are My Books Being Sold?
« on: July 03, 2016, 10:23:57 am »
In Amazon Reports, you can tick the menu for each country to see your sales for that country from .com to .jp.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How I got reviews for my new book...
« on: July 03, 2016, 10:20:23 am »
On the off chance you might be interested in another blog about successfully gathering organic reviews, go here: There is also a link to 200 active reviewers. Nothing to buy. This is a free site.

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